A landowner cannot grant a lease to himself

The common law rule is that a person cannot grant a lease to himself.

In Rye v Rye ([1962] AC 496, HL) two brothers carried on business in partnership as solicitors. They acquired some freehold property and moved the firm to that property. They purported to orally grant themselves a yearly tenancy. The firm paid an annual rent to them. The House of Lords decided that no lease had been created. The common law rule is that no person or persons can grant a lease to himself or themselves. The case is interesting because Lord Denning is sitting in the House of Lords.

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